“The artist has to make the viewer understand that his world is too narrow, he has to open up to new perspectives.”

Antoni Tàpies (Barcelona, Spain, 1923 – Barcelona, Spain, 2012) is renowned for his paintings of matter, characterized by thick impasto and the incorporation of various materials. He pursued art while studying law, and was largely self-taught. Born in Barcelona, Spain, he helped form the avant-garde group Dau al Set, a Catalan group founded in 1948 that gathered surrealist artists and writers largely influenced by Paul Klee and Joan Miró; as a result, his early work was surrealist and depicted dream-like scenes in a figurative language. He began to move towards his signature abstraction style after meeting Jean Fautrier and Jean Dubuffet, leading him to join the Art Informel movement. These mixed-media paintings were influenced by the political environment of postwar Spain and explored the transformative qualities of matter in a large-scale, incorporating earth, stone, detritus, marble dust, and found objects. Tàpies also created objects and scultpures, important bodies of etchings and lithographs, and collaborated with poet Joan Borssa on illustrated books. He is credited as a pioneer of contemporary abstract painting in Spain.